Our Attorneys

Since 1998, The Mazzara Law Firm, PLLC has been representing clients in cases involving commercial litigation, securities law, arbitration, products liability, and civil litigation. From our office in Grosse Pointe Woods, we assist clients located primarily in Southeast Michigan, as well as throughout the Midwest. For personalized representation, contact our office today.For additional information on our areas of practice and experience, please see our attorney profiles:

JACK J. MAZZARA

MATTHEW SMITH

 

JACK J. MAZZARA currently focuses his practice on commercial litigation, securities law, products liability, civil litigation, and arbitration. Mr. Mazzara has also practiced labor law, construction litigation, banking law, and defamation law. He has extensive experience in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration, and he is also a certified mediator. Mr. Mazzara has earned Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV-Preeminent peer review rating for his legal ability and very high ethical standards. He has also been selected to Michigan's Super Lawyers in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Litigation:  Mr. Mazzara has over 30 years of experience in a broad range of securities litigation and arbitration matters, including representing registered personnel in regulatory and administrative matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers/FINRA, and state regulatory agencies. He has significant experience in managing and defending complex litigation. For seven years, he was the lead counsel in approximately 30 commercial litigation and products liability cases involving claims of fraud, RICO, and defective design. He led a team of approximately six attorneys, devised case management systems, developed case strategies, coordinated expert witnesses, and coordinated litigation efforts with associated counsel nationally. Most of these cases involved claims exceeding one million dollars. For additional information on Mr. Mazzara's experience in commercial litigation, securities law, products liability, and civil litigation, please see our practice areas overview.

Alternative Dispute Resolution:  In addition to his significant litigation experience, Mr. Mazzara has over 25 years of experience working as a neutral. Throughout this time, he has served as arbitrator and chairman for such organizations as the American Arbitration Association, National Association of Securities Dealers/FINRA, New York Stock Exchange, and the National Futures Association. He is approved as an arbitrator for FINRA's large, complex cases and injunction relief cases. He has also served as a private judge, commercial arbitrator, and special mediator in condemnation disputes, contract and corporate disputes, and commercial disputes. In addition, he is a certified mediator. In 1994 and 1995, he was invited to participate in the National Association of Securities Dealers' regional focus groups to improve the arbitration process. He has also lectured and written on the subject of arbitration and other ADR methods.

In addition to his active legal practice, Mr. Mazzara has also worked as an adjunct professor Wayne State University Law School since 2001.

Education

Admissions

Professional Associations

Alternative Dispute Resolution Training

  • AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2010, 2005
  • AAA/Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association/Oakland County Bar Association, ADR Joint Networking Event, 2010
  • AAA Arbitrator Ethics & Disclosure (ACE003), 2008
  • AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2007
  • AAA Pro Se: Managing Cases Involving Self-Represented Parties (ACE002), 2004
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Securities Arbitrator Training, 2004, 1997
  • AAA Annual Arbitrator Update, 2003
  • AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2001
  • AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, 2000; NASD Chairperson Training, 2000, 1996
  • Lex Mundi College of Mediators, Mediator Training
  • AAA Basic Arbitrator Training

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker & Author, "The Admission of Expert Testimony Under Daubert" and "The Federal Rules of Evidence," American Home Appliance Manufacturers Association, National Product Liability Conference, Washington, D.C., 2001
  • Lecturer & Author, "Alternative Dispute Resolution in International Business Disputes," Madonna University, International Business Advisor Certification Program, 1995
  • Lecturer & Author, "The Economic Loss Doctrine," Fourth Annual Uniform Commercial Code Commercial Law Seminar, State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section, 1991

Representative Brokerage Defense Cases

  • Mitchell v. Ainbinder, 214 Fed. Appx. 565 (6th Cir. 2007):
    Mr. Mazzara successfully defended a broker against a customer's claims of churning, unsuitability, and violations of federal and state securities laws in arbitration, the district court, and appellate court.
  • Andrews v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 160 F.3d 304 (6th Cir. 1998):
    The court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the brokerage firm on defamation and other tort claims brought by former brokers.
  • Benedict v. Prudential Securities, Inc., No. 96CV70777DT (E.D. Mich. 1998):
    The court dismissed the suit alleging control person liability against a clearing broker.
  • McKeever v. Merrill Lynch, No. 88-CV-70749 (E.D. Mich. 1990):
    The court granted the defendant summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims that he suffered investment losses due to the mishandling of his account.
  • Pappas v. Prudential Securities, Oakland County Circuit Court (1990):
    A Greek immigrant widow suffered a loss of several hundred thousand dollars in her account as a result of embezzlement and forgery by her attorney.
  • Garrow v. Merrill Lynch, Washtenaw County Circuit Court (1988):
    The court granted summary judgment dismissing a discharged broker's claims of negligent evaluation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with economic advantage.
  • Bitkowski v. Merrill Lynch, 866 F.2d 821 (6th Cir. 1987):
    A widow brought suit alleging securities fraud and RICO claims.
  • Moncrief v. Merrill Lynch, 623 F. Supp. 1005 (E.D. Mich. 1985):
    This case was significant because it was the first time within the Sixth Circuit that a court recognized that the Securities Act, Securities Exchange Act, and Investment Advisor Act claims were subject to arbitration, despite contrary Sixth Circuit precedent.

Claimant Representation in FINRA Arbitration Cases

  • Beach v. Bentley-Lawrence Securities, Inc., et al, FINRA Dispute Resolution Case No. 08-03380 (October 28, 2010):  $180,000 award for claimants in claims of churning, unauthorized trading, unsuitability, and related claims.
  • Shaheen v. Dekker, Oakland County Circuit Court Case No. 06-074546-CZ  (July 31, 2006): Judgment on an arbitration award of $350,000, including an award of punitive damages.

Representative Published Cases

  • Russell Plastering Co. v. Michigan Construction Indus. Mut. Ins. Co., 2008 Mich. App. LEXIS 359 (Mich. App. 2008), lv. denied 481 Mich. 915 (2008)
  • Michigan Millers Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5615 (E.D. Wisc. 2007)
  • State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2015 (E.D. Mich. 2007)
  • Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23835 (E.D. Mich. 2005)
  • Will-O-Wheel Farms v. A.O. Smith Harvestore Products Inc., 933 F.2d 1011, full text opinion reported at 1991 U.S. Lexis 16873 (6th Cir. 1991)
  • Frey Dairy v. A.O. Smith Harvestore Products, Inc., 680 F. Supp. 253 (E.D. Mich. 1988), aff'd 886 F.2d 128 (6th Cir. 1989)
  • Voice Sys. Mktg. Co., v. Approriate Technology Corp., 153 F.R.D. 117 (E.D. Mich. 1994)
  • Hapner v. Rolf Brauchli, Inc., 428 Mich. 659 (1987)

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MATTHEW SMITH focuses his practice on civil litigation matters, including business, commercial, and securities litigation, as well as arbitration. Mr. Smith is also trained as a civil court mediator in accordance with the rules of the Michigan State Court Administrative Office.

Mr. Smith obtained his Bachelor of the Arts with honors from Oakland University and his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University. While in law school, he received honors for his legal research and writing and was elected as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Free Legal Aid Clinic, Inc. (FLAC). He is admitted to practice law before the State Bar of Michigan and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and he is a member of both the State Bar of Michigan and the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association. Prior to joining The Mazzara Law Firm, PLLC, Mr. Smith served as a judicial intern to the Honorable David J. Allen of the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Education

Admissions

Professional Associations

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